Ernest Cline (Author)
Set in the year 2044 the world is almost destroyed. The natural resources have been depleted and poverty prevails. People live in Stacks which are trailer homes piled on top of each other. Each stack has more than 20 homes piled on top of each other. The real world is cruel and people are struggling to make ends meet.
The protagonist, Wade Watts is an 18-year-old boy who attends a virtual school and practically live in OASIS which is a virtual reality containing loads of planets and landscapes. OASIS was created by a billionaire yet lonely computer geek James Halliday who was obsessed with the 1980’s. No one shows their real identity and instead have avatars to represent then in the virtual world. Wade’s avatar is Parzival (a takeoff of Percival the Knight which was already taken) .It is here that he meets his best friend’s avatars Aech and Art3mis.
When the book opens we find out that Halliday is dead and his will states that all his fortune will go to the person who will solve the riddle to find the three magical keys concealed somewhere in OASIS to ultimately figure out the hidden prize – an egg. 5 years have passed and the scoreboard is still empty. All the gunters (egg-hunters) are clueless and so are the sixers (agents of an evil corporation called IOI and since they codes start with number 6 hence the name sixers). Then on one fine day the name Parzival appears on the scoreboard. Wade (Parzival) manages to clear the first level and instantly becomes an over night hit. And so the deadly game starts. What follows is an intense treasure hunt inside a massive virtual online environment. The sixers (vilians) will stop at no cost and will even kill people to find the egg. Will Wade or his friends find it in time or will the sixers kill them?
A must read, it is so addictive that once you pick it up, its hard to put it down. It is more of a Young Adult book. You don’t have to be a video game lover or a geek to enjoy the book. Though set in year 2044, you will be transported back to 1980’s since that’s where the clues to the game lie. Hurry and read it before the movie comes out.